NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Waiting for Work

George A. Akerlof, Andrew K. Rose, Janet L. Yellen

NBER Working Paper No. 3385
Issued in June 1990
NBER Program(s):   EFG

This paper explains upward job mobility and observed patterns of unemployment by skill as an economy recovers from a recession. Skilled unemployment is due to rational waiting by workers looking for long-term jobs when there is a "lock-in" effect. Lock-in occurs if the conditions in the labor market when a worker first accepts a job have a persistent effect on wages. Using longitudinal data, we provide empirical evidence of the cyclical pattern of wages predicted by the theory and also of lock-in.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w3385

Published: George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen, 1990. "Waiting for work," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov. citation courtesy of

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